April 2019 Neighborhood Report

and, a little bit of May info

by Mark Pruner

                May Update

This week we are going to look at how each neighborhood in Greenwich is doing, but first let’s see how the market is doing so far in May. On the inventory side we are seeing an increase in inventory with 731 single family home listings. This is up 6.4% from last year’s 687 listings on June 2, 2018, the closest 2018 date I have data for. Our inventory is also up 38 listings from the end of last month.

On the sales and contracts side, we continue to be slower than last year. So far in May we have had 36 sales compared to 53 sales last year and our 10-year average of May sales is 57 houses. Let’s hope we finish with a spurt of sales in the rest of May. Unfortunately, this isn’t likely to happen as we have 110 contracts, which is up 9 contracts from the beginning of the month, but down from the 132 contracts we had at the end of May 2018.

The accumulation of slower sales each month starting in February does have a cumulative effect. Through May 21 we have 145 sales. As of June 2nd last year we had 206. If we add in 10 more sales for the remainder of May we will be at 155 which would be down 51 sales or 25% from last year’s sales.

April 2019 Greenwich Neighborhoods Report

So where are the sales differences by neighborhood for the months we have completed so far. First the good news, Old Greenwich seems to be humming along. We are up 4 sales over last year with 23 sales for a total value of $58 million and an average of 160 days on market. Usually, Old Greenwich and Riverside track pretty closely, for much of the post-recession years, Old Greenwich, particularly south of the village was the hottest area, then the last couple of years Riverside’s numbers have been a little better, but not this year.

Section

Inventory Sum of List Prices  DOM Number sold Mos of Supply Sum of Sold Prices DOM
Byram 12 $34,425,400    250 3      16.0 $1,789,000      77
Pemberwick 6 $5,582,000    163 0  –
Glenville 26 $45,167,000    196 5      20.8 $4,681,000    264
North Mianus 5 $7,437,999    114 2      10.0 $1,655,000      53
North Parkway 109 $554,608,882    387 11      39.6 $50,037,350    211
South Parkway 240 $1,040,994,821    269 28      34.3 $78,595,038    305
So. of Post Rd 69 $413,459,000    177 14      19.7 $39,087,600    294
Old Greenwich 86 $221,475,500    173 23      15.0 $58,061,160    160
Cos Cob 53 $84,635,999    158 11      19.3 $16,124,850    211
Riverside 83 $246,944,090    189 11      30.2 $22,687,822    186
Grand Total 693 $2,660,963,691    243 108      25.7 $272,718,820    228

Inventory in Riverside is up a little from 78 listings last year to 83 listings this year. At the same time sales are down from 24 sales YTD in 2018 to 11 sales this year. The result is that we were looking at 30 months of supply in Riverside, a surprising number for what has been our hottest market the last couple of years.

This is where the law of small numbers kicks in, which says if you have a small number of data items, it doesn’t take many more data points to make your calculations take a big jump. So if you are a Riverside resident who gets this article emailed to him by an Old Greenwich resident enjoying a little schadenfreude at your expense, you can reply that Riverside has had 8 more sales so far in May and the month isn’t over yet, while Old Greenwich has only had 5 sales so far in May.

Besides Riverside, most of our increase in inventory so far this year is in the central area of Greenwich. South of the Parkway is up 29 listings to 240 houses. Just south of that, South of the Post Road is up 15 listings to 69 listings. Sandwiched between those two areas and Riverside, Cos Cob is up 11 listings to 53 sales.

Section Min of Sold Price Max of Sold Price Average of Sold Price Average of List Price/SF Average of Sold Price/SF Average of SP/ASMT Average of SP/OLP
Byram $535,000 $699,000 $596,333 $409 $408 2.053 98.67%
Pemberwick
Glenville $750,000 $1,180,000 $936,200 $446 $397 1.392 80.80%
North Mianus $580,000 $1,075,000 $827,500 $381 $379 1.390 100.00%
North Parkway $1,345,350 $14,875,000 $4,548,850 $676 $634 1.435 88.18%
South Parkway $550,000 $6,850,000 $2,806,966 $551 $519 1.567 86.21%
So. of Post Rd $550,000 $9,400,000 $2,791,971 $740 $704 2.081 90.64%
Old Greenwich $830,000 $11,000,000 $2,524,398 $658 $615 1.585 89.30%
Cos Cob $790,000 $3,400,000 $1,465,895 $453 $416 1.597 84.36%
Riverside $900,000 $3,900,000 $2,062,529 $566 $549 1.745 89.45%
Grand Total $535,000 $14,875,000 $2,525,174 $590 $555 1.640 88.14%

Folks in backcountry have actually seen listings drop this year as they have 109 listings down 4 from last year. To make things even a little better for us folks north of the Parkway, we have 11 sales compared to 10 last year. Part of this is that our listings over $6.5 million, half of which are in backcountry, are actually a little down from last year. The result of this is that backcountry is looking at 39.6 months of supply, still the most in Greenwich, south of the parkway is second at 34.3 month, and Riverside, which traditionally has one of our lowest months of supply,  comes in at third at 30.2 months of supply.

Purely anecdotally, I had two open houses in backcountry last week with 10 groups at one and 7 at the other, while I only had two groups at an open house I did in Riverside. I’m not worried about Riverside, but it’s an interesting turn around from last year for the moment.

Overall, we are also seeing a drop in the sales price/square foot in most areas, which you would expect to see with somewhat more inventory and reduced sales. Our sales price to original list price ratio is also down with Glenville and Cos Cob seeing the biggest drop in this indicator of supply and demand.

These market changes have now been going on for three months, it is not just a curious blip, it’s a matter for concern as it is affecting most areas of the town and most price points. This is at a time where the economy, the stock market and employment are doing well. Some of this change is probably due to the change in the SALT tax deductible at the federal level. However, the SALT deduction benefitted us last year as our sales were up as New Yorkers with high property taxes elected to relocate to Greenwich.

Sales are slow in Westchester, but why are sales slow in Greenwich? This seems to be a Connecticut problem and it needs to be solved by our legislators in Hartford, doing so would strengthen our housing market and would be good for everyone.

 

 

APRIL 2019 GREENWICH MARKET REPORT – $40M Sale Second Highest Ever

by Mark Pruner

This month is time for some slanted reporting, but it’s only fair to balance some of the Greenwich bashing reporting. In April,  we had 34 sales that totaled $102,340,772. Based on a population of 62,000 people this works out to be amazing $1,650 sales for every man, woman and child in Greenwich in just one month.

4/30/19 Inventory Contracts Last Mo. Solds Last Mo Solds+ Contracts  YTD Solds  YTD+ Contracts Mos Supply Mos w/ Contracts Last Mo. Annlzd
< $600K 7 1 2 3 5 6 5.6 6.4 3.5
$600-$800K 14 5 0 5 4 9 14.0 8.6
$800K-$1M 33 8 1 9 9 17 14.7 10.7 33.0
$1-$1.5M 68 15 3 18 22 37 12.4 10.1 22.7
$1.5-$2M 102 19 8 27 18 37 22.7 15.2 12.8
$2-$3M 148 32 11 43 25 57 23.7 14.3 13.5
$3-$4M 104 13 3 16 12 25 34.7 22.9 34.7
$4-$5M 74 3 3 6 5 8 59.2 50.9 24.7
$5-6.5M 59 2 0 2 2 4 118.0 81.1
$6.5-$10M 52 3 2 5 3 6 69.3 47.7 26.0
> $10M 32 0 1 1 3 3 42.7 58.7 32.0
                   
TOTAL 693 101 34 135 108 209 25.7 18.2 20.4

Our average sales price in April was $3,010,023. This is up a huge 25.6% from our average sales price for all of 2018 which was $2,396,448. In 2018 median price, the price where half of the sales were above and half were below, was an enviable $1,765,000. In April of 2019, our median sales price was up even more to $2,302,000. This is a 30.4% increase in the median sales price in only 4 months.

We also had three sales over $5 million in April. The highest sales price was 33 John Street selling for $14,875,000. This property was purchased in July of 2010 for $2,875,00. The sales price represents a 517% increase in the value of the property in less than 9 years of ownership.

It also shows that value of the land purchased was only 19% of the ultimate sales price, much less than the rule of thumb of land price being a third of the sales price for new development; thus, illustrating the amazing bargains to be had in backcountry land purchases.

Of the other two sales, 24 Windrose Way sold for $9,400,000 in a private sale, a clear sign of a hot market where property are being sold even before they can be listed. The other sale over $5 million was 35 Winding Lane, which sold for $6,850,000 after being bought for $6,000,000 less than 3 years ago or an increase of 14.2% in only 35 months.

Our 34 sales in April are up 36%  from the 25 sales that we had in March of this year. May sales are expected to continue to climb as we have over 100 contracts waiting to close. The market segment from $2 – 3 million dollars is doing particularly well with 25 sales so far this year with 11 of those sales being just in April an increase of 3 sales from April 2018. In addition, we have an amazing 32 contracts pending in that price range up 10 contracts from last year.

Looking back at 2019 so far in the ultra-high end, over $10 million, we have the same sales as last year, but one sale this year wasn’t reported on the GMLS. In February 110 Field Point Circle sold for $48 million also in a private sale. Were this reported on the GMLS it would be the second highest sale ever. The $48 million sale of Victor Borge’s old estate, is even more impressive, when you realize the purchase price was $17.5 million in 2009 in the heart of the Great Recession. Buying when everyone else is selling and waiting can be an excellent strategy. Taking a great property and making it even better also can lead to excellent returns. This is one of the premier properties in the U.S. and the buyer agreed.

****

So that’s the slanted version and everything I wrote above is accurate, but it actually makes me a little queasy to write it, because it’s not a fair representation of today’s market.

For the whole market, April was better than March, but still not that good. (April is almost always better than March as we get into the heart of the spring sales market.) Our inventory was up 61 units or 10% to 693 single family home listings at the end of the month and is now 707 listings.

Our sales YTD are 108 or down 29% from last year. On the getting better side contracts are 101 contracts which is down only 13% compared to being down 37% at the end of March.

Our years of supply is still high at 26 months, which is up 10 months from the end of April 2018. When you factor in the contracts outstanding, we are 18.2 months of supply, still higher than last year, but by only 5.7 months.

As to changes in the average and median prices, we are seeing a greater drop in sales from $600,000 to $2 million. So, when sales are down below our average price the average goes up and sometimes, as in April, both the average and median go up a lot. Unfortunately, the sales above $3 million are also down just not as much as in the higher price ranges. The one exception to this is the $6.5 – 10 million price range where we had 2 sales in April compared to none in April 2018. For the year, however we have 3 sales in this high-end category, the same as last year.

Overall, it’s a buyer’s market, but things are headed in the right direction, at least for the month of April, I just wish they’d get there a lot faster.